One of the coolest things about Rome is that famous structes sort of jump out at you from behind a corner and then you are sucked in by the awesomeness. The Colusseum is no different. We came out of the Colosseo metro stop and then got hit with this:
It's jaw-droppingly huge and it's just chilling in the middle of Rome, just like it has been since it's initial construction finished in 80 AD. This thing has seen a lot. Look at it - it's bursting with stories and secrets. Like maybe that time that the lion that was supposed to attack the Christian in the arena actually went for the spectators on the front row. Or that other time when Rome was burning and it watched as the buildings around it crumbled in the destruction.
This is the inside of Colusseum, and that grassy bit down there is the maze-y place where they used to keep lions/Christians before releasing them onto the arena.
Here's a fun travelers' tip: Don't get pictures with the fake gladiators. They are mean, smell bad, and charge a lot of money. Unless, of course, you need a fake gladiators picture. I'm considering buying a cheap-o gladiator helmet and standing outside to pose for pictures, too, because they make bank.
The Colusseum is in a section of Rome where the ancient Forum was, where the ancient palace and surrounding buildings were. Now they are ruins, overgrown by wild grasses and beautiful red poppies.
We also saw Trajun's Column, which I remember looking up from my dozing in art history last semester to see on a Powerpoint. It's so much cooler than I thought! Thousands of figures carved meticulously into an enormous column. We also saw the Trevi Fountain (make a wish!) and the Pantheon before we went to the Borghese Palace to see crazy awesome art.
outside the Pantheon.
Inside the Borghese Palace, we saw several Caravaggio paintings and also some rad Bernini sculptures. These sculptures BLEW MY MIND. They are so intricate, so carefully detailed, so lifelike...I actually think that I saw David's brow furrow a little more as I looked at his face.
Seeing these sculptures was so amazing because Bernini CARVED them. Out of MARBLE. I couln't carve wet wood into a shape if I wanted to.
What I Have Learned So Far:
- Don't take pictures with fake gladiators.
- If I had lived in the Romantic Era, I would have been one of the ones that met at night among the Forum ruins, in secret, for romantic trysts.
- Bernini is a rockstar.
- "il tuo ego e fuori controllo" means "your ego is out of control."
- I believe in Trevi Fountain wishes.